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FirstHealth Home Care Receives HRSA Telehealth Grant

| Date Posted: 10/3/2012

PINEHURST – FirstHealth Home Care has received a grant from the HRSA Office for the Advancement of Telehealth to create the FirstHealth Center for Telehealth. The nearly $1 million award will be disbursed over the next four years.

The Center for Telehealth will be part of the newly created FirstHealth Care Transitions Services. The program also includes home health care for qualifying patients; complex care management for patients not eligible for home health; and care transitions nurses who are specially trained in care coordination and transitions.

Under the FirstHealth project, telemonitoring will be provided to at least 1,160 patients over the grant period. FirstHealth offers home health services in Moore, Montgomery, Hoke, Richmond, Scotland and Lee counties.

Telehealth equipment placed in patient settings allows trained clinicians to remotely monitor data (blood pressure, heart rate, weight, EKG, pulse oxygenation and blood glucose) of chronically ill patients and quickly intervene if any of the measures fall outside normal parameters.  Disease-specific education and questionnaires can also be delivered across the telemonitor.

While FirstHealth Home Care already provides telemonitoring in patient homes throughout the region, the network expansion will include two additional sites: Community Care of the Sandhills, a Medicaid/dually eligible managed-care entity; and Peak Resources-Pinelake, a skilled nursing facility.

“Peak Resources-Pinelake is honored to partner with FirstHealth Home Care to preserve continuity of care for our residents,” says Director of Nursing Tracy Bain. “By partnering for this project, we feel that our residents will continue to receive excellent care while ensuring that their transition from the hospital to home will be easier for the resident and their family. We look forward to continuing to provide the most up-to-date care for our community.”

Community Care of the Sandhills is a local, non-profit network serving more than 71,000 North Carolina Medicaid and dual-eligible enrollees. “Using remote monitoring capability to manage these complex patients will allow us to make focused, data-driven decisions to better serve the population,” says Robin Cummings, M.D., the network’s medical director.

“Expanding the use of technology to help manage the care of patient’s with chronic disease is essential for success,” says Patty Upham, director of FirstHealth Home Care Services, who also oversees the newly created Care Transitions Services. “We are really excited by the opportunity to build upon our success in telemonitoring and to be able to provide this valuable service to more patients who could benefit.”

For more information on FirstHealth Home Care Services, call (800) 876-2212 toll-free.

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